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Author at the Center of Salinger Lawsuit Defends Book

Daily News

Online Only, posted 6.16.09

The author sued earlier this month by J. D. Salinger for usurping rights to The Catcher in the Rye has come forward with a defense of what Salinger called a "rip-off, pure and simple" of his classic novel. Swedish author Frederik Colting, who penned the novel 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye under the pseudonym J. D. California, said in a legal brief that his book is not a sequel, but "a complex and undeniably transformative exposition about one of our nation’s most famous authors, J. D. Salinger, and his best known creation, Holden Caulfield."

Joining Colting’s defense, along with two literature professors, is former Publishers Weekly editor Sara Nelson, whose testimony addresses the commercial concerns of the lawsuit. "Through my experience covering the publishing industry as a reporter and an editor, I understand the myriad variables that contribute to—or detract from—a book's commercial success," Nelson wrote in a statement. "60 Years will have no detrimental impact on sales of Catcher.... It is more likely that 60 Years, through its critical content and the attendant publicity it will likely generate, will actually contribute to renewed interest in, discussion of, and consequently sales of Catcher."

Also arguing against the injunction requested by Salinger is Aaron Silverman, owner of SCB Distributors, the California company that had planned to distribute the book, which was released in Great Britain by Windupbird Publishing, a company co-owned by Colting, in the United States this summer. In his declaration, Silverman stated that, in order to ensure that no confusion would arise over the source of the new novel, the back cover of book would include the disclaimer, "This critical literary speculation has not been approved, licensed, or endorsed by J. D. Salinger," and the spine would include the word "Unauthorized."

Opening arguments will commence on Wednesday.

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